Butterflies are one of the most beautiful and fascinating insects in the world. These flying beauties arrive as caterpillars, munching on leaves and then forming a chrysalis in which to transform. The leaf nibbling may be a nuisance at first, but rest assured the caterpillars will not move on to your prized roses. They much prefer aster, milkweed, and citrus. As adults, these insects bloom into beautiful creatures that spread beauty as well by inadvertently pollinating flowers as they feed on the nectar. People have become enchanted by butterflies. Their vibrant color and acrobatic flight is often enough for people to tempt them into their gardens.
One of the best ways to maintain butterflies in your garden is by hanging or posting a butterfly house among the butterflies’ favorite flowers. Attract them with black-eyed Susan, aster, butterfly bush, a butterfly nectar feeder, or other favorite flowers. The house you mount should mimic a butterfly’s natural hiding places, such as rock crevices, wood piles, or loose tree bark. Butterflies may hide in these boxes to escape the cold, a summer storm, or predators. You may attract even more flying beauties by offering a refreshing dish of water. They often prefer wet sand or shallow mud puddles, so a shallow sand-filled dish with a rock edging makes a great sanctuary where your butterflies may drink and bask in the daytime sun. By placing a few small accoutrements in your garden, you will invite butterflies, year after year.